enculturating las vegas into the next millennium... art, dance, film, music, poetry, theater, history, nature and everything else that enriches the lives of those who live and visit southern nevada... Since 2003...

Friday, January 01, 2010

ZEN in TEN - What does it mean?

Many of you have recently been exposed to the ZEN in TEN that I started speaking of several months ago. Zen in Ten is a positive state of mind that I have created for the next decade, whether it is for myself or those around me. The last ten years for me personally have seen the ending of my years in college and the beginning of my career in the cultural arts. The development of my future and the places that I have taken myself too. The boards that I have sat on and have left. The ups and downs of my friendships and acquaintances and the great creative bursts of my art and exhibitions. But beyond what has happened in my life I have grown to look at what we can do collectively to enrich the lives of those in our community. The last decade has had great moments but it also has had its great downs. Learning from these phases what can we take from the last ten years and build upon for the next? What can we do better and what can we hope not to repeat?

The next ten years will be an even greater moment in the development of our communities growth in the cultural arts. The hardships of the past recent years have demonstrated to all of us that we must step back and look at those things that enrich our lives beyond the infantile obsessions with the marketplace. We must look beyond that which gives us instant gratification and contribute more to the development of the things that will carry Las Vegas and our posterity into the future. Yes Las Vegas can and will be a great city and will rightfully take its place in the leagues of other great cities but what can we do to set it on the path of greatness? What can we do NOW to make this city everything that it can be? Simply, we must look beyond the pessimism of those who see a bleak outlook and grasp the things that make our city great. Las Vegas prides itself on being different, on being innovative, in thinking outside the box and setting itself apart from those who always said Vegas could never survive. Our libertarian streak will not end but rather it will mature and will cause not just our state, but our city to grow in ways that it has never grown before.

Looking back at the history of our state we look at a land of great contrasts, of booms and busts, of rags and riches. Though the times we are living now are difficult for our community we must look beyond the downs for there will be an "up" to carry us to the next phase of our development. Ultimately it will be up to us to decide what that "up" will look like.

I am proud to say I was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. I am also proud to say that I will be part of the "up" that our community will experience in the next several years. All this reminds me of the old axiom; for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. For what positive energy we put out into our community only good things will come from it. Lets us work together to make Las Vegas great; for the fruits of our labor will be so, that other communities will look at us and say - Why didn't we think of that?

May all of you have a wonderful and safe New Years and as always be ZEN in TEN and beyond...

posted by Brian Paco Alvarez, Curator and Chronicler of Culture at


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